C3 Partners With Big Day Out

Texas-based C3 Presents, longtime promoter of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Festival, has expanded its international reach, announcing a partnership with Australia’s Big Day Out fest.

“I am really happy to be able to announce this new partnership,” Big Day Out founder Ken West said. “I could not have found more creatively sympathetic, commercially dynamic and like-minded partners than the guys at C3. We remain a locally passionate music business but can revel and excel in what this new global relationship and its combined wealth of knowledge and experience can bring for Australian and New Zealand audiences and Australian, New Zealand and international artists.”

“C3 is thrilled to be entering this creative partnership with Big Day Out and are honored to become a part of the outstanding 20-year legacy that the festival has created,” C3’s Charlie Walker added.

Big Day Out started in 1992 as a Sydney-only show with Violent Femmes headlining. By a stroke of good luck, Nirvana, which was down on the bill, had a smash hit with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” ensuring the show’s sellout.

Within two years, BDO extended to include Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Auckland.

It enjoyed the reputation of being a trendsetter, with labels and managers trying to get their acts on as a way to break them. Yet, two months ago, before the six-city event celebrated its 20th anniversary, co-promoter Vivian Lees departed over whether to cancel the event in 2012.

West told Pollstar Big Day Out faced a dilemma securing headliners and got into a bidding war that stretched its finances. Eminem, for instance, turned down a fee of A$6 million for six shows to do his own headlining run with Dainty Consolidated in December, a month before Big Day Out. To steady the ship, West canceled a number of major acts for the 2012 festival including headliner Kanye West.

C3 has shown considerable skill in its ability to promote major events. With the addition of Big Day Out, “the three Charlies” – Walker, Charles Attal and Charlie Jones – have expanded their company to three continents, considering they also promote Lollapalooza in Chile and Brazil.